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  1. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Feb 12, 2014, 1:00 AM - Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #1

    Albin, founder of the 501st, recently made a fantastic post about leadership in regard to the ongoing 501st elections that 1) truly shows why Albin is held in such high regard, but 2) also touches on a point about leadership that I hold as the MOST important aspect of leading; a leader is a servant. A leader serves their community; spends a great deal of time and energy seeking out needs in the community and finding ways to meet those needs. Serving does not always mean giving a community what it claims it wants, but having the wisdom and the foresight to recognize what it truly needs and providing that to them.

    Why am I bothering to mention this? I am not a 501st member. I won’t be voting in the elections. However, YOUR vote will affect not only members of the 501st, but due to the ever-expanding and overlapping nature of our communities, communities that I do serve. With that in mind, I would strongly recommend you consider the candidates carefully and choose who will best serve your community.

    If I were voting, I’d be voting for Kris Kuipers as your next LCO. Why? Because Kris IS the type of service-oriented leader that Albin described. You may be asking yourself “how would you know?” While I may not be a member, I do keep up with 501st goings on and do watch to see the directions it moves. While no one is perfect and I am well aware that some people got their feathers ruffled by his approach, Kris’ approach to leading your community not only matches Albin’s description of what your LCO should be, but Kris has a long-term goal and vision for the group that is unlike anything I have seen, but that I think is absolutely necessary for the club to not only survive, but to thrive. One has to keep in mind that the landscape of our hobby is continuing to change. More and more outside groups are springing up and flourishing and do we even need to talk about the Disney buyout of LFL and the changes that are continuing to slowly trickle out from that? Again, Kris has these things firmly in mind and his vision for the future of the club is an inclusive one, which is only going to continue to become more and more important.

    The charter for the 501st places the future of the club in YOUR hands. YOU are responsible for choosing who will serve you. Think carefully on that as you go to vote and again, give Kris careful consideration as I truly believe that he is the leader best suited to take you through the next year.

    Art

    Posted by Albin on Facebook:

    Well it's that time of year again: elections.
    I had a few treatises prepared for laying out my philosophy on how Garrisons should operate and some pointers for Garrison Commanders. I will probably post those soon. In the meantime, though, I think it worth a few minutes to post about the election process and leadership.

    Leadership is a big word and if you ask a thousand people what it's all about you'll probably get a thousand different answers. Some will focus on integrity, some will highlight the need for intelligence, others will go with compassion, or proactive thinking or strength or wiles or delegation of authority or good planning skills. We could go on with decisiveness, diplomacy, enduring patience, ability to stay calm in chaos, people skills, and quick thinking. And so on and so on.

    Other discussions of leadership look to the trappings of authority. Bookshelves are lined with biographies of leaders with heroic poses on the cover. The media likes to talk about leaders like they're celebrities, modern day royalty. We have images of leaders on horseback, leaders holding a sword, leaders going down with the ship, leaders damning the torpedoes, leaders making a brave stand. Our pantheon of heroes is full of hero figures.

    But let's cut to the real center of this nugget. Leadership is about service, plain and simple. And any of the above descriptions are added onto that like toppings on a sundae. We can dress it up any way we want, but it's about SERVING those who elected you.

    Service is a far less sexy ideal. It's about spending long hours doing the dirty work no one else wants to do, making hard decisions that make you stay up at night, tweaking the last little detail of some boring, mundane work-a-day process that keeps the lights on and the engine running so the membership can do their jobs.

    It's like hosting a big party, but you never get much of a chance to join in because you're so busy keeping the party going so the gang can have fun. It's about refilling the chip bowl, running to the store for more beverages, switching out the music to keep the mood light, working on the lights so there's brilliant dazzling effects, talking to the loser in the corner who has no one else to talk to but you gotta do it yourself because he's there for the party too and ****** someone's gotta keep the train rolling. It's cleaning up the sick in the bathroom after one of your guests yacked, then driving him home yourself while the hotties at the party are exchanging digits, only to come back and find out you're on clean-up detail and there's no guarantee folks are going to stick around to help.

    Leadership isn't about being a winner, or about titles or any b.s. about authority. Authority is what you EARN by giving everyone five seconds of your time to consider their needs, then giving them a fair shot by working it out to make it happen. If you can show people you put in the hours and try to make the Legion stronger and better, then by god they'll look at you like you ARE authority. Oh, I don't mean make everyone happy - no, no - that's never going to happen. You are going to disappoint some people, it's inevitable. But if you can put together policies that take an hour to think about and then 10,000 hours to make good on, then at least the people you disappoint can look back at your work and consider maybe (just maybe) you had a good reason for doing what you tried to do.

    What's this all about? I see it every year. People stick up their hand and volunteer for a leadership position. To me, that's just saying "clean-up on aisle four? I got this!" but instead a lot of that finery I talked about in the beginning of the post is what they act like is important. People get mad at each other, snipe at each other, resent their friends for running against them. Should we really let real-world politics trick us into acting like that? Is there really that much at stake that tempers flare and egos get bruised?

    Here's all I'm saying: I see a lot of nominations being accepted. And nothing makes me more proud than to see people grabbing mops and heading to aisle four. But please consider the truth that that is what you are signing up for. If you're looking to be a Squad Leader or a Detachment Leader or a Garrison CO or a Legion Commander then go get some heavy duty work gloves on and be appreciative of the epic people standing next to you on the election podium. They are not your enemy. They are your greatest allies, people who are willing to say they have mop-experience. You are a breed apart (uh oh, I'm starting to wax inspiring about leaders, after all that) but you are a breed apart because you want to serve. You want to discuss some hard (and boring) topics about what you think could be improved in the Legion, and you want to talk about it for a long, long time with people who will frustrate you, bore you, insult your intelligence without meaning to (or meaning to!), and carry on and on and on.

    Because there are thousands (THOUSANDS) of Star Wars fans out there who listened to the drum beat of the 501st Legion and joined, saying to the world 'we want to be awesome' and it's your job to keep their party going. Not your party, THEIR party. Whatever you do from this point on, do it with humility and patience and a never-ceasing urge to make their lives better. Not your vision of utopia, visions are nice but they can be dangerous if you block out everyone else's vision. You try to see their vision too. You call those members up in your Garrison (the ones who no one talks to) and just say 'hey buddy, how can I help you find your place in this family'. Don't email them, call them, pick up the phone and talk to your people. Connect. If you spend so much time on this that you miss out on actual trooping events, that's not a crime - but at least make sure your work makes THEIR trooping events better. And guess what? You'll be called a hero for it.

    And to you voters out there, forget the fanfare, forget the popularity contest - if you're a 501st member reading this then expect more from your leader than a hard sell or a familiar name. Expect them to be the kind of leader you deserve. And whoever gets elected, you support the heck out of them for as long as you can.

    So here is my call for all candidates to carry out the mission of leadership in the spirit of selfless service, and do so early by conducting yourselves like true leaders long _before_ you're elected. The party has been going on for over sixteen years now, getting cooler every year. Let's keep this party rolling.

    Good luck and Long Live the Legion
  2. syllander's Avatar
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    Feb 12, 2014, 7:46 AM - Re: Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #2

    Very, very well put by Albin. Great definition/analogy of what it takes to lead and inspire people.
  3. locitus's Avatar
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    Feb 12, 2014, 6:12 PM - Re: Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #3

    I'd rather say that every member who is voting should take time to read the Q&A answers of all candidates before making up their mind.
  4. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Feb 13, 2014, 1:01 AM - Re: Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #4

    Quote locitus said: View Post
    I'd rather say that every member who is voting should take time to read the Q&A answers of all candidates before making up their mind.
    Rather? Not seeing anyone suggesting otherwise.
  5. locitus's Avatar
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    Feb 13, 2014, 3:33 AM - Re: Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #5

    Quote Art Andrews said: View Post
    Rather? Not seeing anyone suggesting otherwise.
    Certainly looks like you are suggesting we should all vote for Kris despite what merits any other candidates may have.
  6. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Feb 13, 2014, 3:41 AM - Re: Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #6

    Quote locitus said: View Post
    Certainly looks like you are suggesting we should all vote for Kris despite what merits any other candidates may have.
    Then you misread. I said you should give him careful consideration and that if I were voting I would vote for him because his qualities and vision certainly matches Albin's description very closely. That is not to say that others don't... just that Kris does.
  7. locitus's Avatar
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    Feb 13, 2014, 3:46 AM - Re: Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #7

    Quote Art Andrews said: View Post
    Then you misread. I said you should give him careful consideration and that if I were voting I would vote for him because his qualities and vision certainly matches Albin's description very closely. That is not to say that others don't... just that Kris does.
    If you say so. But do you know anything about the other candidates at all? After all, you aren't a 501st member so you shouldn't have been able to read their answers in our Q&A. What, other than that you must know through a personal relationship with Kris, makes you so sure he is the best candidate?

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  8. Community Founder Art Andrews's Avatar
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    Feb 13, 2014, 9:56 AM - Re: Attention 501st Members - A thought regarding the ongoing 501st elections #8

    Quote locitus said: View Post
    If you say so.
    I do say so.

    Since you clearly seem to want to pick a fight, I'll just leave it at that since I said my piece in the very first post.

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